What’s This All About?

Much of the literature online and offline about living without a car, or just using your car less, is serious: how to get to work, how our transit systems can be improved, the need to reduce fossil fuel consumption.  These things are important to me, and were things I read about extensively when I first decided to get rid of my car 12 years ago. But I believe that serious lifestyle choices can often also involve fun and creativity along with the challenges and seriousness.

I started this project to provide ideas and inspiration for getting outdoors to hike, run, bike, camp, etc., without using a car.  The outdoor adventures documented here are located in or originate in the San Francisco Bay Area, and are accessible without a car.  My goal is to make car-free outdoor trips easy and fun by providing route descriptions and logistical details  and by taking the trips myself and reporting on my experiences. I am approaching car-free travel not as a barrier to getting outdoors, but as a fun challenge to find routes linking mass transit with nature and an opportunity to explore the urban-nature and suburban-nature interfaces of the Bay Area.


The outdoor areas explored in these trips will include parks and open space preserves, trails, urban natural areas, lakes, creeks, the Bay shoreline, and the Pacific coast and beaches of the San Francisco Bay Area.  The route descriptions can also be used as a starting point for your own trips, and many can be used simply for the transit information for getting to a particular location.

All excursions will start and end at a transit stop, with some trips looping back to the same transit point and others connecting two transit stops via parks and trails. For the most part, outings will use transit systems that run on weekends (i.e., will not use lines that run only at weekday commute hours). All trips described here will be taken by the author before they are posted.


Jen English: carfreeoutdoors [at] gmail [dot] com

The archive of my previous blog about walking every street in Berkeley is available at Walking Berkeley.


Update, July 2014:  Many of these trips were taken 4-5 years ago.  Please check transit schedules and park websites for changes and closures.

Transit schedules change, so it is always a good idea to check schedules before embarking on a trip. Trails and other outer areas may be closed due to maintenance, flooding, or other reasons. I advise calling parks or checking the park agency websites for any closures, especially after heavy rains.

Exercise and outdoor activities involve risks and dangers. Trail and route conditions for trips may have changed from the time of writing. The author assumes no responsibility for any injury, accident, or damage to or loss of personal property sustained by any individual while taking these outings.


Unless otherwise noted, all content on this blog is  © Jennifer English 2009-2014

  1. Claire
    October 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks for the great blog! Being able to get out into nature more often is the one reason that has me considering getting a car. Hopefully these ideas will help me get my nature fix.

  2. March 29, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    A commenter on EcoVelo mentioned this blog, so I clicked over and – WOW, what a wonderful resource! Very much looking forward to exploring the outings you’ve written up so far and seeing what you write about in future.

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